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more forward progress - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
more forward progress
I fixed my tent today.
We managed to tear a two-side rip in the roof as we broke camp at GNEW ("tear-down" is not meant to be so literal).  If it were not the roof, I'd have used an iron-on patch and called it good, but it is, and I am married to Mr. Worst-Case-Scenario himself, and so an iron-on patch Simply Would Not Do.  (Easy for him to say; I knew I was the one who would be fixing it.)

So I pondered and I pondered, as I am wont to do with projects I have not attempted before, and finally I was ready (and this is the last really decent day we're supposed to have between now and the end of the week).  I researched it, and found this page on the subject of tent repairs, where they suggest using Barge Cementdarkwolfie looked, but couldn't find it, so he got me two other adhesives that are supposed to be good for fabrics: a tube of All-Purpose Goop, and a bottle of DAP Contact Cement.

I opted to use the contact cement, because it had an applicator, and having used Goop before, I knew it would be harder to spread in a thin layer over the area that needed patching.  But first, I had to close the tear, and that meant sewing.

We arranged the canvas so that some of it was in my lap, and the tear was positioned on the camping table.  I ran a backstitch around both edges of the tear for reinforcement, then used a pseudo-"baseball stitch" to pull the two lips of the tear together.  I ended up using four threads instead of one or two for strength, since all I had to sew with was regular Gutermann sewing thread.  I also popped in a tack at either end of the tear, perpendicular to the rip, so it wouldn't be able to spread any farther

Once the tear was closed, it need to be sealed.  On darkwolfie's advice, I cut out two circles of canvas from a bit of scrap that we had, so that water would not be able to pool along a straight edge, and started painting on the contact cement.  Boys and girls, it was like painting with boogers.  Green ones.  Sticky green troll bogeys.  At least it made me laugh.

I put the cement on both surfaces, let it cure for a few moments, and then plopped the first circle down.  After letting that cure for a few minutes, we flipped the canvas and I boogered the other side, then smucked the patch down there.  It's drying in the garage right now.

It seems like a really solid, waterproof patch, and it'll certainly be difficult to puncture the same spot, if not impossible.  I might take the Goop and run a bead around the edge, just to seal it, because it dries clear and the contact cement dries the color of dried troll bogeys, which is not what I want to see when I look up at the roof of my tent.  At any rate, I'm glad it worked the way I wanted it to, even if handsewing marine-grade Sunforger is a royal pain in the ass.

i feel: accomplished accomplished

1 trip or shoot the rapids
points From: points Date: July 30th, 2006 10:23 am (UTC) (base camp)
Mmm.. troll boogers.
1 trip or shoot the rapids